Fulcrum Information Resources
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Frequently Asked Questions

Isn't all the information I need on the Internet?

You can find volumes of information on the Internet using free search engines like Google, MSN and Yahoo. However, you may waste time and resources wading through all the search hits looking for your morsel of information. Fulcrum Information Resources uses high-level search techniques to narrow the results, along with industry-specific subscription databases to locate the targeted information you need.

In addition to the Internet, Fulcrum gathers data from trade associations, government agencies and industry experts as needed to round out the information and validate the data from as many resources as the budget and deadline allow.

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What is primary research?

Primary research refers to getting information directly from a source. This can include interviews, surveys, observation and testing. Primary research is extremely valuable since the information comes directly from the source without any filtering.

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What is secondary research?

Secondary research refers to information gathered from existing reports or studies prepared by government agencies, trade associations and other organizations, as well as news outlets including newspapers, journals, magazines and on-line sources.

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How much do you charge?

Our services are in line with other professional services you may retain. After meeting with you to discuss and understand the scope of your project, the expected deliverables and the deadline, Fulcrum will prepare a project estimate with a not-to-exceed budget.

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What are proprietary subscription databases?

Proprietary subscription databases consist of companies that aggregate millions of trade publications and market research reports which are not available to the casual Internet user. Sources include, but are not limited to, Factiva, Dialog, Hoover's Pro and Business Intelligence Services.

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Why wouldn't I subscribe to these databases myself?

Some companies have internal research departments or libraries and do subscribe to these databases. However, many companies find it cost-prohibitive since they only need these specialty databases periodically. Others find that the learning curve to train someone to use the databases is too high.

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What happens if you don't find the information?

When you work with Fulcrum, you are hiring us to do the research on your behalf. Sometimes the research doesn't yield the results you expect, which in itself is valuable and can help you to refine your business or marketing strategy.

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How can you guarantee that the project will be completed within my timeframe?

If we don't think we can accomplish the work in the time you expect, we will let you know before beginning the project. We also build checkpoints into the process and let you know how the project is going so that adjustments can be made, if necessary.

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How do you get to know my business or industry?

Fulcrum specializes in the durable goods industry and has a wealth of experience in that area. However, if a request falls outside our area of expertise, we will work with colleagues who have that expertise and bring them into the project. The bottom line is that the research skills and processes remain the same regardless of the subject matter

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What do I need to do to make our project a success?

Our job is to help you get to the true underlying question you want answered before beginning the research. The best way for you to help Fulcrum is to be as clear as possible in your request. We will spend as much time as needed to find out what you already know about the subject, what you want to find out and from what perspective.

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What can I expect from Fulcrum's customized report?

Each report is created to meet your needs. We can prepare reports in Microsoft Word, Excel or PowerPoint. If you have a template you wish to use, we will accomodate your request. The finished product could be a 30-page report or a one-page Excel spreadsheet. This deliverable is discussed before the project begins and built into the project estimate.

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Can I get both hardcopy and electronic versions of my data?

Yes. Fulcrum typically sends its reports electronically, but will supply hard copies upon request.

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Will you prepare presentations for my stakeholders?

Yes. This would typically be discussed during the proposal phase and built into the project estimate.

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How do I contact Fulcrum for emergency questions or changes to the project?

If your project changes directions, you can contact Fulcrum by phone or email to discuss the change and its potential impact on the project's budget, deadline or deliverables.

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Are you available to discuss the findings?

Yes. Although many clients find it sufficient to receive the final report electronically, we can meet with you personally to discuss the findings and will build that into the project estimate.

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